Overcoming gravity is something the athlete always has to deal with, pretty much regardless of sport. Getting the body (or an implement) moving quickly is very important. How can we train athletes to get better at this challenge?
Enter power training.
If you remember high school physics class, you know that Power = Work / Time. Work (as you also remember) = Force x Distance. So, in essence, in the context of athletes and training, Power = Force / Time.
Put another way, power is how much force an athlete can produce in as little time as possible. It sounds like exactly what we’re after when trying to overcome gravity, right?
Power training involves using the athlete’s body weight or added load and trying to move as quickly as possible. The beautiful part about power training is we have two different variables to play with – force and time. If athletes can produce more force (by using heavier load, perhaps) or produce the same force in less time (do the thing faster), they display more power.
Movements such as jumps, medicine ball throws, and weighted movements such as the Olympic lifts are all great options to train power. The most important element is the speed of movement – the athlete must try to move the weight (or themselves) as fast as possible – we want the time component to be short.
Training this way, using body weight and lighter and heavier loads, will prepare the athlete to more readily overcome gravity and display that power in their sport.